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Bits and bobs about my life in my lovely home, Thatchwick Cottage, Pretoria, South Africa.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

10 March, 2010: Eco friendliness - past and present

Washing the linen this week was a great opportunity to try out my new Ecoballs which I bought to replace regular detergents and save the world! I was very satisfied with my wash - snowy white and soft. If things continue this way, my savings on detergents should be considerable. Those Ecoballs cost R200 for approx. 300 washes; a packet of detergent is about R 65 for 60 washes.

This adds to my general enthusiasm for recycling: organic kitchen waste to the compost heap; bottles, plastics, tin and paper to the relevant collection points. Electricity used with care especially with 25 % Eskom hikes in tariffs on the cards.

But how new is this all to do about the environment? My mom always kept a thriving compost heap for kitchen waste: teabags and coffee grounds, egg shells, veggie and fruit peels, even shredded newspapers. Milk bottles were rinsed and recycled and the silver milk bottle seals collected. Paper and string were folded to be re-used time and again. Christmas cards were collected for charity recycling. Plastic bags were rinsed and used again. The attractive curtains, cushions and bedthrows in Mom's home were often made from remnants bought at sales. Clothes were darned and mended. Sheets cut in half and sewn outer sides facing inwards. Fraying towels were hemmed and darned until they were demoted to the cleaning cupboard. Lights in empty rooms were switched off and not left to burn heedlessly. Her garden was planted with cuttings and seeds obtained from friends' gardens. She grew her own vegetables and scorned at buying flowers from a shop for her vases. Family celebrations took place at home with fare from her kitchen.

When did this all go so very off track? I confess, as a baby boomer, with the scramble after affluence and extravagance of the post-war, throw-away generation who rebelled against all that scrimping and saving. Now I don't want to advocate a return to parsimonous anxiety about having enough. Nor a militant activism. Just find out how easy it is, how much fun to be eco friendly.


Janet said...

WOW! You've given me food for thought!

Vicki Lane said...

Good for your mom! We try to recycle as much as we can. A flock of chickens is wonderful for kitchen waste. Now I need to look for those EcoBalls!

Carol@ Writers Porch/ Book House said...

Your mother was a very savy women in my opinion! I want those EcoBalls too!

A human kind of human said...

Hi Eleanor, and here I thought my mom was the only person in the whole, wide world who did that to her sheets. We still have our own compost heap but unfortunately no collection points for glass or plastic or paper. I do not buy plastic bags for groceries, I use homemade shopping bags, so at least in that way I contribute. Good for you though for being environmentaly conscious, so few people are.